We stayed at this superb re-incarnation of a 12th c monastery at an unbelievably low price for bed and breakfast. We had gone on the pousadas of Portugal website and found that one could buy five nights b. and b. at pousadas for 400 euros: the so-called pousada Golden Passport. The condition was that one had to make the reservations in advance with one's credit card and also prove one's age, 55 or over on arrival at the first pousada selected. A 60 euro supplement may be payable at weekends.
At this price, all the pousadas to which we went in Portugal were extraordinary value. We found the monastic cell rooms in the old area comfortable once one had checked with reception as to how the power supply to the airconditioner could be switched on: the meter is located fairly high above the door. Breakfasts generous almost to an extreme. Evening meals were at much more a normal price, i.e. fairly expensive and service was not impeccable but good enough: food fairly good rather than excellent.
One must be energetic to walk down the the hill to the beautiful, historic centre of Guimaraes and even more energetic to walk back: I'd suggest a taxi since the bus is overpriced and requires a long wait. Don't miss the wonderful old church right next door: it has nothing to do administratively with the pousada and is normally closed. Worth finding out when it is likely to be open. The otherwise excellent reception staff ought really to be better informed about this than they are.
The surrounding park is worth a visit in itself but you can simply admire it from the spectacular terraces in the old part of the building. I'd recommend bringing one's own bottle of port or madeira to sip while you take it in. There are even some of the wonderful blue tiles decorating the walls there which are a feature of other parts of the building. IAN
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In the city of Guimaraes, the Culture Capital of Europe 2012, you find the majestic Pousada de Santa Marinha, National Award of Architecture in 1985. The Pousada is a result of the restoration of the Monastery dos Agostinhos from the twelfth century. It is around 2 km from the historical centre of the city (classified as a Heritage Site by UNESCO). The Pousada de Santa Marinha is a fantastic escape, where tranquillity is an absolute certainty. Possessing a magnificent view of Guimaraes and considered the cradle city a cultural capital in 2012, where the first king of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques was born. Guests can enjoy the outdoor pool or take walks through the scenic gardens of the Pousada or through the mountains of the historical city of Guimaraes. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Pousada De Guimaraes Santa Marinha Hotel Guimaraes